Several foreign firms are seeking to invest a total of W7 trillion in Yeongjong Island in Incheon (US$1=W1,132), a move that, if realized, would greatly boost the city's efforts to become a resort hub in Northeast Asia.
According to the Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority on Sunday, Japan's Okada Group plans to invest 300 billion yen (W4.5 trillion) to build a resort on a 1.42 million sq.m property on the island. In the first phase of the project, construction of a business hotel is scheduled to begin at the end of this year.
Caesars Entertainment of the U.S. is also considering investing in the island. An official with the authority said that the company suggested a plan to spend $750 million on building a hotel with a casino for foreigners and a shopping mall.
Last month, 555 Group, a shopping mall operator in the U.S., signed a memorandum of understanding with Incheon to spend W1.5 trillion on constructing a tourist complex with shopping centers, performance halls, restaurants and leisure facilities.
Alfardan Group, Qatar's premier real estate developer, will reportedly sign a contract worth W300 billion to develop some districts in the port city as early as this month.
Foreign investors apparently see great potential in the city due to its proximity to China and the fact that it has one of the world's best airports, the authority said. "If regulations are eased, it will significantly facilitate foreign investment," it added.